Who knew that foulmouthed theatre wouldn’t leave a bad taste in the mouth? (writes Rosie Boon)
Forget the Muppets, there’s new puppets on the block, specifically Avenue Q and they’re here to stay.
Avenue Q (which opened last night at Peterborough New Theatre) begins as Princeton, a university graduate, embarks on postgraduate life with great optimism but not a lot else. As such, he lands on Avenue Q, a disheveled street full of stories to tell.
With songs like Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist, The Internet Is For Porn and What Do You Do With A B.A in English, the show captures the somewhat harsh reality of the world, and turns these issues in to rip-roaring laughter. Something every audience member can benefit from.
From the first five minutes, you’d struggle to stifle your laughs. Your inner child will remark at how puppets and humans live together, while feeling incredibly ‘grown up’ at the adult themed musical numbers.
The cast, albeit small, is all hands on deck as they juggle different characters through musical numbers and scenes. Triumphantly there is no jarring between these transitions and without a hitch, making use of their stage presence. The puppeteers are visible, but this doesn’t detach from the characters as you empathise with the characters and their various plights; from seeking love, to owning your sexuality, searching for your purpose and being obsessed with porn.
A special mention goes out to the remarkable Cecily Redman, who effortlessly changes from hopeless romantic Kate Monster to the brazen Lucy the Slut, in one scene. Fan favourite Trekkie Monster, was a hit from the get go, despite seeming like a one-dimensional character, audiences soon discovered another side to him. While you may not be able to relate or empathise with every character, one plight or another will hit home.
The show which ran on the West End for five years, is comprised of outrageous jokes, sharp observations of society and the general vulgarity, shouldn’t work but it does and it works well.
Containing a number of items of an offensive and explicit nature; including a puppet sex scene, this show is not for those who may offend easily and has an age restriction of 14+.
Avenue Q runs until Saturday. Tickets from www.newtheatre-peterborough.com.